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Cape Barren Goose bucket list fulfilled

Ramsey Russell is the owner of, a United States-based company that facilitates duck hunting experiences worldwide and has been doing so since 2003.

Cape Barren Goose
Cape Barren Geese are “rare” due to the relatively small geographic area on earth that they can be hunted. Based on average size, Cape Barren Goose is among the largest goose species on earth and has several distinctive features.

He has hunted on six continents and spends about 225 days a year pursuing his passion, which has allowed him to gather a wealth of knowledge from around the world including during multiple visits to Australia, where he has hunted with Field & Game Australia members and also helped with waterfowl research activities. This passionate waterfowler has hunted diverse species in some truly amazing locations, but after two decades in business there are still some “bucket list” birds and experiences on his radar, hunting Cape Barren geese foremost among them.

Here, Ramsey Russell gives us an insight into a trip he made in January this year, leaving his Mississippi home and the North American winter to spend a week hunting Cape Barren geese on Tasmania’s Flinders Island.

Long  journey worth the effort

“Five flights later, the shimmering Bass Straight was glimpsed through puffy clouds, and ahead lay the small Flynder’s Island that was our destination,” Ramsey said. “Covering roughly 550 square miles, it’s inhabited by 900 people living close to the land. No [crazy] Australia anti-hunters here, I was told … no crime either. Cows and sheep plentiful, Cape Barrens too.”

Ramsey said the birds evolved in brackish marshes and still bore the greenish-yellow cere to excrete salt – but had since adapted to the island’s abundant pastureland – He said other distinctive features of Cape Barren Geese are their talon-like claws on deeply lobed webbed feet, and heart-shaped dark spots on their feathers. “Highly territorial, pairs and cohorts stake out each paddock across the landscape as their own,” he said. [Read More: Cape Barren Goose bucket list fulfilled]

Annual NT Magpie Goose Hunting Trek with a Twist

Right from the very beginning of the planning stage, it was evident that our annual hunting trip to the Northern Territory was going to be bigger than Ben-Hur this year.

Magpie Goose Hunting Trek
Geneticist Phil Lavretsky from UTEP and Andy Englis from UC Davis joined Australian and American magpie goose hunters in Northern Territory trek to collect genetic samples and waterfowl specimens of benefit to worldwide waterfowl populations and future humanity.

Not only had interest grown proportionately with the amount of southerners keen to tag along, but there was international interest as well, and anything that involves the modern-day Christopher Columbus of waterfowling – hunter, forester, and wildlife biologist Ramsey Russell – seems to grow quickly.

By the time accommodation, flights and land transport were arranged, the trip included three South Australians, nine Victorians, two Northern Territorians and four North American VIPs, for a total of 18 people, four vehicles, two houses and a cabin – and a logistical nightmare of epic proportions.

Ramsey was bringing a couple of world-leading scientists and a videographer with him, and before we knew it the necessary permits were being sought that would enable scientific sampling and the collection of waterfowl specimens that were destined to be museum exhibits in the United States.

Was it worth the effort? Was it a successful trip? Did we enjoy every minute of it? Absolutely!

The four days prior to heading to the NT were spent in Victoria, filming Battleground Australia documentary, Duck Season Somewhere podcasting, and taking samples from frozen Victorian birds that had been generously donated by Field & Game Australia volunteers, board members and staff. The new FGA national office at Connewarre Wetland Centre was a hive of activity and was the perfect place at which to undertake the task at hand.

Eventually, the Victorians made it to the NT and joined the others late on a Monday evening, and everyone was aghast that• our first me together was KFC and not something from the great outdoor pantry! But it was late, and there had been no chance to shop for food or prepare it if we had – and anyway, turns out this was our last non-game meat meal for a week. Spanish mackerel, magpie goose and duck were on the menu for the remainder of our trip, presented in almost every way you could imagine. Curry, laksa, dim sims, dumplings, stir-fried, roasted, barbecued slow cooked, deep-fried southern style, tomahawk steaks, schnitzels, poppers and it was all presented as if we were sitting in a posh restaurant.

The hunting was outstanding. Full limits were achieved on almost every outing, and on the few occasions an individual didn’t achieve a limit in. the morning, they went back in the evening to finish off. [Read More: Annual NT Magpie Goose Hunting Trek with a Twist]

Battleground: Australia Duck Hunting

Researchers and an American Hunter Race The Clock To Gather Specimens Before Waterfowl Hunting Here Is Banned

Battle Ground Australia Magpie Goose
American Hunter and SCI Gamebirds pf the World Chairman, Ramsey Russell, teams with Field and Game Australia, Australian hunters, US scientists and videographer to collect invaluable scientific data before Australia waterfowl hunting is possibly closed due to fringe-radical anti-hunting politics.

A bright orange fireball crested the eastern horizon, baking the buffalo-tracked, red-dirt landscape, wringing sweat into our shirts and ball caps like cutting a Mississippi lawn in mid-July. And it was only 6:30 a.m.

Overhead, intermittent flocks of plumed and wandering whistling ducks piercing still air with cee-dee-dee and felled by tall shots. In hand, we first-timers to the Northern Territory of Australia marveled at their beauty of extremely elongated flank feathers. But not for too long. The main event was underway. Waves of magpie geese stretching from one horizon to the next and for as far as could be seen through our sweaty eye slits. They were the reason we were here.

Magpie goose hunting is strictly a pass-shooting event. They lifted off in distance, trading between feed and water. They faintly honked like Canada geese and few at various heights over our shooting lines. Hardly anyone hunts them over water here — too many man-eating saltwater crocs. Out-of-towners, like myself, abide standard operating proce-dures. Ominous crocodile warning signs posted at property entrances plus we hear countless supper-table stories about 20-foot beasts snatching folks from boats.

Magpie geese are living fossils, representing an ancient connection between chicken-like birds and modern waterfowl. Magpie geese are about the size…Read More: Battleground: Australia Duck Hunting (PDF)

Thanks to Safari Club International‘s support, we brought along hunting videographer Justin Mueller, who produced Battleground Australia,” that aired on GetDucks YouTube channel on January 23. The 19-minute hunting documentary importantly details the scientific value of these waterfowl spcies and of hunting to waterfowl management and to humanity worldwide.


Victory in Victoria! Waterfowl Hunting Ban Defeated

SCI, Ambassador Called Worldwide Attention to Battle in Australia

australia waterfowl hunting ban Victoria
Ramsey Russell, a well known international duck hunter who documents his travels on Instagram @ramseyrussellgetducks, called attention to the proposed ban on duck hunting in Victoria, Australia. See details of Russell’s journey in the March/April 2024 of SAFARI Magazine-

Safari Club International, Field and Game Australia, and hunters in Australia’s state of Victoria are celebrating a hard-won victory over a battle to save duck hunting. SCI members will recall that SCI’s Advocacy Team joined a fight to prevent animal rightists in Victoria from banning waterfowl hunting there. (See June 2023 edition of Safari Times.) Sonya Kilkenny, the Outdoor Recreation Minister at that time, openly admitted wanting to ban waterfowl hunting and created a Select Committee comprised of anti-hunting proponents to “investigate” the duck season and determine the future of waterfowl hunting in Victoria.

SCI issued a Hunter Advocacy Action Center alert and on May 8 submitted 685 comments and letters from SCI members and advocates to the committee. In addition to explaining that hunting drives conservation programs, including duck conservation, the letters urged the Select Committee to base its decisions on science and ignore anti-hunting bias.

SCI also funded Ramsey Russell of to travel to Australia with waterfowl scientists to investigate and report on the looming threats to waterfowl hunting there and the wildlife management and conservation that would be lost with a hunting ban. Russell posted his Battleground Australia documentary about the issue on his website. Look for Russell’s story, “Battleground: Australia” in the March/April issue of SAFARI Magazine.

In a letter to fellow members of FGA, a national association supporting sportsmen’s rights and conservation, board member Paul Sharp said, “so grateful that Safari Club International has seen our plight and stood so solidly with us in our fight to continue hunting in our country of Australia and all its challenges.” FGA’s Hunting and Conservation Manager Glenn Falla wrote, “This would not have been possible without the support of so many great people, including SCI and Ramsey Russell”

On January 29, new Minister of Outdoor Recreation Steve Dimopoulos issued a press release announcing that recreational duck and quail hunting will continue in Victoria with some changes to ensure it remains safe, sustainable and responsible. The government will adopt seven of the Select Committee’s eight recommendations regarding required hunter education and training, stricter compliance levels, banning lead shot for quail hunting, implementing a plan to reduce waterfowl wounding and recognizing the knowledge and land management of aboriginal communities. “While the committee did not reach con-sensus in its report, the views of more than 10,000 Victorians and organizations were heard in the biggest response to a parliamentary inquiry ever in Victoria,” according to Dimopoulos.

“Recreational duck and quail hunting is a legitimate activity, and it matters to thousands of Victorians who love the great outdoors.” Additionally, his ministry has authorized the Game Management Authority to implement science-based adaptive harvest management to guide the length and conditions of each duck season, beginning in 2025. The 2024 duck season in Victoria will run from April 10 through June 5, 2024.

International Waterfowler Goes To Arizona As Part Of Nationwide Tour

Ramey Russell hunts ducks worldwide

Why would a world-renown waterfowler go to the desert to hunt ducks? Because they are there. There was still a bit of a chill in the air late last year as the sun began to rise over Phoenix, Arizona. No wind. No clouds. It was to be a blue bird day in the desert.

Bobbing in the current of the Salt River were a couple of handfuls of duck decoys as a few ducks, in ones and twos, flew over to take a look. Although it was anything but a wide-open hunt, waterfowling personality Ramsey Russell, Arizona Game and Fish Department Migratory Gamebird Biologist Johnathan O’Dell and the author were ready for whatever the day would bring.

Later in the morning, because the hunt was on public land within sight of the Phoenix metropolitan sprawl, the hunt also saw a group of birdwatchers with their binoculars and cameras stroll by, even as kayakers navigated around the decoys in the river. Talk about multiple use!

Desert duck hunting turned out to be a lot more fun than Ramsey initially had imagined. “I really enjoyed Arizona. People don’t think of the desert for waterfowl, but it can be a great place to hunt. When you find water in Arizona, you find ducks, Ramsey explained.

When Ramsey Russell talks about doing a hunting swing he ain’t whistin Dixie, so to speak. “This swing — so far this year, I went to Texas during the teal season, then Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Montana, Utah — north, southeast and west of the Great Salt Lake, Arizona — Salt River, then southwest, then New Mexico along the Rio Grande and then Roswell for sandhill cranes,” Ramsey noted shortly after leaving Arizona.

Read full story (PDF): International Waterfowler Goes To Arizona As Part Of Nationwide Tour 2024 Catalog 2024 CatalogThe 2024 Catalog is awesome! View latest 36-page, full-color catalog online: Ramsey Russell’s 2024 Brochure – Offering the World’s Best Duck Hunting Experiences (hi res PDF).  Or view the online flip-page GetDucks Brochure (link at bottom of each page of

Contact us to receive your complimentary hi-res, high-quality print copy mailed directly to you. Copies also available at Safari Club International, Dallas Safari Club, and other select sporting events.

In this issue: GetDucks Company Profile • About GetDucks • It’s Always Duck Season Somewhere Highlights • The Best Argentina Duck Hunts • Ultimate South Africa Wingshooting • GetDucks Conservation Corner • The Best Mexico Wingshooting • GetDucks Worldwide • Azerbaijan Hunting • Guatemala Duck Hunting • Alaska King Eider Hunting • Peru Duck Hunting • New Zealand Waterfowl Hunting • South Africa Duck and Bird Hunting • Russia Bird Hunting • Netherlands Goose Hunting • Sweden Goose Hunting • Australia Duck Hunting • San Luis Argentina Dove and Pigeon Hunting • Mongolia Bird Hunting • Pakistan Duck Hunting • USHuntList Outfitters and Contacts • It’s Always Duck Season Somewhere (reprint) • Affiliate Sponsors Pages • Testimonials • Collectors Corner • North America Waterfowl Species ListWorld Gamebird List (available at GetDucks destinations) • Duck Season Somewhere Podcast

View 2024 GetDucks Catalog 

SuperTalk Outdoors with Rickey Matthews: Ramsey Russell

Ramsey Russell GetDucks

Ramsey Russell,, joins SuperTalk Outdoors with Rickey Matthews to tell of traveling around the world duck hunting but still calling Mississippi home. Growing up in the Mississippi Delta, he was taught hunting by his grandfather.

Duck hunting is about the passion, the quest, the authenticity of adventure. ‘Somewhere in the world, it’s always duck season”–especially in the most remote, wild pure destinations on earth. There are ducks galore in many places we hunt, some incredibly unique species, but for Ramsey Russell it’s not about collecting trophies or accruing numbers. It’s about collecting experiences.

View episode on YouTube: Ramsey Russell

Pacific Flyway: Historic Waterfowling Images

Pacific FlywayTo this day, it still amazes me that my own grandfather’s half-century worth of hunting and fishing experiences can be summarized in a slender binder of maybe a couple dozen old self-adhesive pages. In just a few page flips, black-and-white photos transition to time-yellowed color photos of tar-papered camp cabins across the river; of fabled wet dogs that made legendary retrieves, talked about at more family suppers than can be remembered; of smiling little boys who became my father, uncle and family friends; and of my grandfather himself, the man who had grown much older by the time he mentored me.

I’ve spent countless hours studying those photos of bygone times. And I’ve oftentimes wondered if Grandfather would have written detailed captions— which is to say, any at all — had he known how treasured a family possession like that single album would become. Because, see, those old photos are the perfect summation of my own past, present and future as pertains to waterfowl hunting.

Photographs are powerful like that. And Yancey Forest-Knowles and Dr. Wayne Capooth, two accomplished old-school duck hunters who grew up hunting the Pacific Flyway and Mississippi Flyway, respectively, and are well aware of it. Their passions led them to…


Read full story Pacific Flyway: Historic Waterfowling Images

No Science No Duck Hunting?

no science no duck huntingRegards Australia Duck Hunting, anti-hunters claim that ducks are 75% below the survey long-term average, including a 58% decline from 2020 to 2021. For many it’s a compelling argument despite the survey’s much broader margin of error and decades narrower “long-term average” compared to North Americas breeding population survey.

“There’s not a place anywhere in the world, Australia included, that’s even a close second to what we have in place in North America,” said Ramsey Russell, who, as proprietor of, is a leading expert on worldwide waterfowling “It’s uniquely American. We’re passionate about the resource, we care about its perpetuity, and we’ve created a multi-billion dollar system that funds state, federal, and university monitoring.”

Lacking this level of population and hunter harvest data, it’s far more challenging to counter a claim that ducks are declining and hunting is to blame. Brice experienced this while attending Victoria’s “Select Committee” hearings on duck hunting…


Read full story: No Science No Duck Hunting?

The 28-Gauge Shotgun Can Kill Ducks as Effectively as a 12-Gauge

Benelli 28-gauge
Ramsey Russell of shooting his Benelli ETHOS Cordoba in 28-gauge. For the past 2 seasons, he’s traveled throughout North America shooting a Benelli 28-gauge almost exclusively for everything from blue-winged teal, giant Canada geese, common eiders and everything in between.

The days of steel non-toxic shot are over and modern sportsmen have many high-quality shot options available. Leading the sub-gauge revolution is BOSS Shotshells’ copper-plated bismuth-tin allow, which patterns like lead and retains about 80% the downrange energy. Couple with Benelli 28-gauge (available in both Ethos and Super Black Eagle platforms), it’s a no-brainer. But size matters?! No way. A number 4 pellet is a number 4 pellet is a number 4 pellet. Ballistically, a number 4 BOSS Shotshell pellet delivers about the same punch as a number 5 lead pellet of the glory days. For the past 2 seasons, I’ve shot 28-gauge almost exclusively throughout the United States and Canada, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans, and from the Canadian prairies to the Gulf of Mexico. Using the Benelli and BOSS Shotshells combination, have bagged everything from blue-winged teal to giant Canada geese.  Proving it’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog, dabblers, divers, seaducks, and all North American goose species have been felled. So light you hardly no you’re carrying it, the Benelli 28-gauge has little recoil. Reduced noise reduces disturbance (have heard many clubs mandated sub-gauge rounds for this very reason). Know you’re pattern, take ethical shots, make clean kills.  Join the revolution and give it a try. You won’t regret it.

– Ramsey Russell

Read 28-Gauge Article: The 28-Gauge Shotgun Can Kill Ducks as Effectively as a 12-Gauge (At Modest Ranges)

Mojo OutdoorsTom BeckbeFlashBack DecoysVoormiTetra HearingDucks Unlimited HuntProofInukshuk Professional Dog FoodBOSS SHOTSHELLSBenelli

As strong advocates of conservation, supports the following organizations:

Ducks Unlimited Dallas Safari Club National Rifle Association Delta Waterfowl SCI